7 Reasons People Can’t Wait for you to Stop Talking
It’s pathetic when people listen because they’re afraid not to. People often listen to leaders because they must, not because of respect.
What if people couldn’t wait for you to open your mouth?
Seven reasons people don’t listen when you talk:
- You’re negative. No one loves listening to complainers.
- They don’t care. Your message doesn’t matter to them.
- You don’t listen.
- You talk too much. People with power speak first, longest, and interrupt more often.
- You make promises you don’t keep.
- You don’t hold yourself and others accountable. People ignore you because they know you won’t bring it up again.
- You pretend you know when you don’t. Empty words never generate enthusiasm.
When people can’t wait for you to stop talking, they already stopped listening.
Three signs you’re being ignored:
- Low or no eye contact.
- Fidgety body language. Look for shuffling feet and other signs of impatience.
- No responses when you’re done talking. They want you to think they agree, but really they want you to stop talking.
The worst result of talking too much is disengagement.
Five ways to speak so people listen:
- Be awkwardly brief. You’re concerned that people will reach the wrong conclusion, so you cover all the bases. Speak fewer words and invite questions.
- Open your mouth to ask questions. Say, “I don’t want to waste your time with information that doesn’t matter.”
- What would you like to ask?
- What issues did I leave out?
- What do you need to know?
- Speak with specificity. Weak leaders hide behind generalities. Ambiguity is boring.
- Craft messages that matter to the person listening. Spend more time thinking about them and less thinking about yourself, if you expect to speak with influence.
- Be solution-centric and forward-looking.
Say things that make life better for others.
How might leaders talk in ways that energize others?
I’m printing this off and hanging it up in my cube. Thank you.
Thanks Kelly. It’s a pleasure to serve.
Thanks Mr. Dan,
Its true that we must be, like ken masion said, we must be ‘say more, speak less’.
How to achieve that?
I’m a “say more but speak less” guy.. When we are able to speak to a need that resonates in others, then change can begin, the rest is noise! It’s never quantity or loudness, it’s always relevance…
I brought a Board of Directors presentation to by boss several years ago.. it was about 18-20 powerpoint slides.. without viewing a single slide he put his hand on top of it and said “these are bright guys, they know that if you can’t say it in three slides you don’t know what you’re talking about!…let the questions reveal your depth!” i’ve never forgotten that.
Great advice. I would say more but…
Thanks Ken. “Let the questions reveal your depth.” I’m remembering that!
Dan, you’re true : The best way to be listened is to talk when you have something to say. Simple but efficient.
During meetings, when I’m not the leader, I am used to shut up during long minutes, listening everybody talking at the same time and when I begin to talk, I try to be as brief and quiet as possible. It’s funny how people stop speaking loudly and listen to me. Even if they’re not agree with me they take time to understand me. It’s just priceless !
Thanks Romain. Yes! Sometimes if you want to be heard, speak quietly. I’m a loud talker by nature. I’m learning to listen to the volume of my voice. Your suggestion works. Thanks for your insights.
I’m a strong supporter of brevity and too the point! Your analogies are spot on with body signs as I’ve seen them and done them myself, typically not of of disrespect, more like “been there done that”! I’m typically there because I want to learn and paying attention is important!
Great post, Dan. Enough said.
Thank you Dan, I am sharing this with some very specific talkers.
I like this post. Thank you for sharing Dan. Some people do talk too much and hardly listen, it turns people off. I like your recommendation on keeping the message brief and solution-oriented and forward-looking.
Keep up the good work and I look forward to your next post.